Taking a Stance
In this day and age, Americans are obsessed with trends and diets that surface on the internet. From taking the new FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved weight loss pills, to buying corsets that give exaggerated hour glass figures, people have resulted to unusual and inhumane practices just to achieve specific health goals. Subsequently, it has even come to a point where, people are starting to implement their unusual habits into their children’s lives. Today, the vegan diet has received an increased amount of attention, due to the success stories and positive results presented in the media. Because most are easily sueded, people resort to raising their children as vegans, due to the assumption that the practice solves and prevents all heath issues. Depriving kids of certain foods due to personal reasoning, is cruel and unethical, because nutritional and empirical value is lost.
Based on an updated census, it is safe to say that since the year 2015, only .5% of the United States claim to be vegan. Though that small percentage committed to this lifestyle are applauded, they will not be praised if their offspring contribute to that census. Unless a child specifically expresses that they want to practice the strict diet, it should not be imposed upon them, let alone encouraged. Because a vegan diet is plant based, vegans don’t receive sufficient vitamins and nutrients that are primarily found in animal proteins. It can be argued that there are various substitutions and alternatives that exists, but it is simply not moral or natural, for a child to receive supplements, via pills, powders, and needles.
It is quite possible for an adult to thrive off of a diet that excludes meat and dairy, however it is extremely risky for a child or baby to live according to those terms. As stated by New York Times writer Nina Planck (2012), “Growing babies who are leaving the breast need complete protein, omega-3 fats, iron, calcium and zinc…plants are inferior sources of every one”(p.1) Furthermore, studies expressed that, between vegan children and children who used to be vegan, there is “a significant association between low B12 levels and “fluid intelligence, spatial ability and short-term memory” ( Planck, 2012, p.1). This information conveys that, raising a child vegan, is indeed harmful. With the proven health risks, allowing children to consume animal proteins and by-products should be an indisputable action.
Children should not be forced to follow a strict diet, especially if it’s one as limited as veganism. Vegans should always inform their children that, there are various ways to improve and maintain health; this should be enforced, not only because it would educate the children on nutritional value, but because it forces parents to consider and recognize their child’s voices and choices. In order to ensure this act, medical and government officials should draft a law that requires parents to raise their children according to standard nutritional guidelines. This is a necessary order that would assure the safety, and well being of babies. Depriving your children of meat and dairy is neither ethical, or nutritional, so vegans should immediately refrain from doing so, for the sake of their child’s health and happiness.